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Primera División

  • 24 September 2011
  • • 21:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
  • • Attendance: 79000
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Barcelona - Atletico Madrid Preview: Pep Guardiola's side aiming to build on five-year unbeaten home run against opponents

Barcelona - Atletico Madrid Preview: Pep Guardiola's side aiming to build on five-year unbeaten home run against opponents

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Gregorio Manzano brings his new-look and in-form side to Camp Nou just a point behind the champions in the Primera Division table


PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Barcelona (4-1-2-3): Valdes; Alves, Mascerano, Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Thiago; Messi, Fabregas, Villa

Barca centre-back Gerard Pique is back in full training following his calf injury and after the defensive frailties against Valencia, it is touch and go as to whether the Spaniard will make the starting XI. Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta are still sidelined with hamstring injuries. Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay damaged his cruciate knee ligament in training and will miss an estimated six months of the season.

Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Coutois; Silva, Perea, Dominguez, Filipe; Koke, Assuncao, Gabi, Turan; Salvio, Falcao

Atletico Madrid are still sweating over the fitness of Diego, who completed light training on Thursday but it is unsure whether the Brazilian will feature against the champions. However, the Madrid outfit have been boosted by the return of Diego Godin, who has recovered from his injury and is expected to make the squad against Barcelona.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • In their last four meetings at Camp Nou in La Liga, Barcelona have scored 17 times against Atletico Madrid, conceding just three in reply.
  • Cesc Fabregas (right) already has more assists in this season (four) than Andres Iniesta accumulated in the whole of 2010-2011 (three).
  • Expect goals in this encounter, as both Barca and Atletico netted over 2.5 goals in 24 of their 38 league games last season, a 63 per cent success rate.
  • Atletico Madrid's last victory at Camp Nou was in December 2006, where they emerged as 3-1 victors.

  • Atletico have won their last two league games 4-0 at home, against Racing and Sporting Gijon, with Radamel Falcao netting five times.

  • Indeed, this match showcases La Liga's two leading goalscorers, Falcao and Lionel Messi, who along with Roberto Soldado have netted five goals in four matches.

Players to watch

Fàbregas

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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Four La Liga games, four goals for Cesc, who has adapted to life in his former surroundings effortlessly. He has struck a significant understanding with Lionel Messi in his short time at the club, and his current form makes him an indispensible member of Pep Guardiola's side.

R. Falcao

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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The prolific Colombian has taken no time to settle in Spain and has struck the net five times in his last two matches, suggesting that his transfer could prove to be a masterstroke for the capital club. He has the capability to cause the fragile Barca back line no end of problems.

Editor's Prediction

Given Atletico's recent misfortunes at Camp Nou, it is difficult to see them grabbing a sensational result, but Barca's defensive frailties suggest the encounter might be closer than previous victories for the hosts.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Barcelona

Atlético Madrid

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Draw
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
Club Atlético de Madrid Atlético Madrid
77%
15%

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 1
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 0
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
FC Barcelona FCB
4 - 1
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM

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